Dan O’Connell, who has been the associate athletic director at John Bapst Memorial High School the past five years and the head football coach for 15 seasons, has been named to replace Rick Sinclair as the athletic director at the Bangor-based school.
Former Hermon athletic administrator Steph Biberstein has been promoted to assistant principal.
O’Connell called it a “great opportunity” and intends to remain the head football coach.
“I think the same type of methodology applies to being a head coach and an athletic director,” said the 40-year-old Bangor High School (1995) and Bates College (1999) graduate. “As a head coach, you create a staff [of assistants] to put the pieces together so you can be successful on the field.
“As an athletic director, you compile a staff [of head coaches] who can put the pieces together so you have a successful athletic program that creates positive experience for our student-athletes,” he added.
“There will be a little transition period but Dan will be able to step in and do a great job,” said Sinclair.
O’Connell said he feels fortunate to have “learned from one of the best [Sinclair]” and noted that the administration has been very supportive.
“We have a great support system in place and we want every kid in our program to be successful,” he said. “We all want to work as hard as we can to help every player and every team reach their potential and have a great experience.”
He said the best part of the job is that “every day is different. No two days are alike.”
John Bapst is a private school so it attracts students from a number of communities as well as having an international program.
O’Connell likes that aspect because it provides the student-athletes with an opportunity to interact with teammates from different communities and cultures.
The school will have a number of new faces in its athletic department this fall.
O’Connell has already overseen the hiring of Chris Woodside to replace Mike Webb as the head girls basketball coach and is currently looking for a boys basketball coach, to fill Sinclair’s shoes, and a boys-girls swim coach to replace the late Gary Isherwood.
They will join other first-year coaches Courtney Withee (field hockey), Yann Dupuy (boys soccer) and Chris Tanis (ice hockey).